Please ensure Javascript is enabled for purposes of website accessibility

AI SEO: What is AI SEO, and Why Is It Important?

by | Feb 22, 2024 | SEO

AI & SEO: Where’s the Future Headed?

Like it or not, AI is here to stay.

Just ask Google’s CEO, Sundar Pichal, who says, “With a bold and responsible approach, we’re reimagining all our core products, including Search.” (Google blog, The Keyword)

AI has been around for many years in ways we probably didn’t notice before ChatGPT. But after? Whoa. Game-changer.

An emerging AI trend is AI on websites. I see it in website copy, on landing pages, and in blog content (yeesh). It’s everywhere.

You’ll also find AI in images, social media, job applications, and in the comment section (among other places).

Is that necessarily a bad thing? No, it’s not. But there are definitely a number of cautions and caveats when it comes to adding AI content to your website.

As a digital marketer of eight years, I’ve got my opinions on what AI and SEO hold for us now and into the future. It’s not all sunshine and rainbows.

But it ain’t all bright, either.

What is AI SEO, and Why Is It Important?

AI is an umbrella term for machines that mimic human intelligence. AI processes data. It stores, interprets, and uses that data to make decisions and take actions “similar” to what a human touch can do.

Amazon Echo is a really good example of AI in practice. It takes large data sets and can answer a person’s questions, anticipate needs, and take human-like behaviors, like setting appointments and finding products and location recommendations for you.

Here’s how SimpliLearn puts it, “Artificial Intelligence is the concept of creating smart, intelligent machines. Machine Learning is a subset of artificial intelligence that helps you build AI-driven applications. Deep Learning is a subset of machine learning that uses vast volumes of data and complex algorithms to train a model.”

AI in SEO has three different applications (for now).

First, there are AI SEO tasks, which mimic human tasks to help “do” SEO faster. This might include keyword research, content outlines, and writing content with AI.

Second, AI SEO encompasses published SEO AI content, or content that “sits” on a website in the form of blogs, pages, and other content.

Finally, there are AI SEO search results, like Google’s Search Generative Experience (currently in beta).

Each of these AI SEO formats will continue to shape the way we view, interpret, and interact with websites and our daily interactions (with humans and bots).

Can AI Be Used For SEO?

Absolutely! AI can be used to formulate ideas for keyword research, brainstorm customer problems and solutions, write outlines, or even full articles.

It can help spark creative ideas and develop solutions for complicated tasks, like organizing spreadsheets and writing some code requirements (like regex or schema).

However, AI should not be used as a replacement for professional SEO services. Not only is that a sure way to never see SEO performance results, but it removes your ability to create value for clients and customers.

(I personally can’t imagine a clearer way to say, “I literally don’t care enough about you to ensure my content is of high quality or accuracy.”)

Can SEO Be Replaced By AI?

Yes and no – there might come a day when AI is largely done with AI systems and tools. That doesn’t mean the need for human creativity and innovation will no longer exist.

Businesses will still need to have professionals who understand search engine algorithms, content, and AI SEO to drive performance and impact in organic search.

How to Write SEO Content Using AI

You can use AI to write SEO content by using an AI tool and providing it with your desired requirements. Select your “target keyword,” then tell the AI tool that you want to write a complete article to put on your website to rank in search results. You can also add specifications to help refine and improve the tone of voice, structure, length, and other factors.

However, I strongly discourage you from writing entire articles, websites, and other content entirely from AI for ethical and performance reasons.

For this article, I studied the top search results (with an AI SEO tool called Frase), then reorganized the information in the way I wanted to talk about AI SEO.

I also added information I felt was missing from other articles and added different questions and answers I knew people were searching for online (like this question).

However, this article is written entirely by me, not an AI tool. I’m also editing the headers, adding internal links, citing sources, optimizing the content for SEO, and developing my own point of view and expertise for the entire article.

Adding the “human” element to your content will help it rank in search results and connect with clients and customers.

You should only publish content that you’ve researched, experienced, or are qualified to write.

As SEO evolves with AI, your human-created content and ideas will help your performance compared to websites that use only AI SEO content.

Is AI Content SEO-friendly?

Yes and no. AI content that’s developed by humans with AI assistance will perform in organic search results in the long term. Websites with entire libraries of AI-heavy content may rank for a period of time, but likely will not rank at all or into the future.

Can AI SEO Impact Performance?

Yes, AI SEO can help SEO performance in the sense that it allows SEO professionals, founders, and entrepreneurs to do more SEO tasks with efficiency.

Search Generative Experience – SGE – will also impact SEO performance in the near future and in the long term. As Google develops AI-generated search results, websites will lose market share in all search results (paid and organic search).

In this next decade, brands and business owners will need to focus heavily on brand and customer connection over creating AI content and “trying to beat the algorithm.”

That said, SEO will continue to play an important role in ensuring website visibility, as SEO encompasses many factors in website performance.

How to Mitigate AI SEO Content Penalties

AI SEO Content penalties are a new term and don’t have a definite “fact vs fiction” approach. It’s not like AI SEO has been around long enough to really say, with conviction, what AI content rules to follow.

Over time, we’ll see which websites are rewarded or squandered because of AI content. For now, we can look at examples of websites using AI in their SEO content to get a better idea of which strategies might work in the near future.

Let’s examine LinkedIn’s use of AI content as an organic growth strategy. If you’ve been on LinkedIn in the last several months, you’ll notice their AI SEO content performs extremely well.

semrush data showing estimated traffic for linkedin ai articles

According to Semrush data, their “Advice” articles generate 463.9K in monthly organic traffic, or the equivalent of $535.4K in ad spend.

LinkedIn’s AI-generated advice section works because it has many thousands of users willing and rewarded for adding their “human” perspectives to the content (at no extra content creation cost to LinkedIn).

Without the “human” element of its SEO content, this might not have been such a success. I also think LinkedIn could make this even more successful by investing in partnerships with vetted creators to develop paid perspectives to their SEO content (especially for more competitive terms), and by building out better organizational and website structure to create an improved experience overall.

However, this would have to support their overall marketing goals for this initiative, which I’m not entirely clear on in this instance.

(Anyway, back to what I was saying).

AI SEO Tools 101

Knowing AI content will continue to evolve, here are a few great AI content SEO tool recommendations for you.

These tools have been using AI in their systems for many years, or are making great strides to ensure AI is used for SEO content purposes. I’m excited to see how you use them.

Frase

Frase is an excellent SEO AI Content tool that’s typically used for studying top search results and creating outlines.

Since the release of ChatGPT, they’ve ramped up their variety of AI SEO features, like the Featured Snippet Numbered List, Paragraph rewriter, and Pros and Cons list.

Clearscope

Clearscope is an AI based content Tool that examines your target keyword and helps you refine your content to match search intent.

It’s a great tool for understanding what primary and secondary keywords to address and will give you a “grading score,” that will help you understand the likelihood that your content will perform.

ChatGPT

Chat GPT isn’t specifically for SEO, but it can help you think through your SEO ideas, brainstorm topics, and help sort data for you.

With this article, Chat GPT helped me shape up the ideas I generated from Frase so I could create something original and fully address this topic.

Surfer SEO

Surfer SEO can take you from keyword to outline to fully-written AI SEO articles fast. Not only that, but it works extremely well for SEO professionals to send over briefs to clients and writers to generate articles with speed and expertise.

Wix AI

Wix has come a long way in its quest to prove its sites work well for ranking in search engines. It recently added a library of AI tools for its websites, including writing page titles and meta descriptions.

(I sometimes write content for Wix. This has no impact on why I’m telling you it’s a great tool for AI SEO).

How to Use AI for SEO Content Creation

When you create SEO content, you’ll want to consider a few things.

First, what are your overall business goals? You should create content that rolls up into those bigger goals.

Next, you want to think about who you’re talking to and what stage are they in? Do they need background information, or are they familiar with what you’re talking about?

Finally, for SEO content, you need to consider search intent and search competition.

Once you know those overall pieces of information, then you can create content to better serve your audience and generate SEO organic traffic.

Here’s an example.

If you’re a doctor with a skincare line, say, a dermatologist turned entrepreneur/ beauty evangelist, you might want to write an article about skincare tips for busy moms.

The goal here (considering SEO traffic) is to drive X number of visitors per month, and within your overall content plan, you expect this article to eventually drive X number of visitors per month.

You know this information because the keyword you’ve selected tells you the search volume associated with your article topic.

Now, you can take that keyword and do a few things with it specifically to create SEO content with AI.

First, you can generate additional keyword ideas.

Here’s what ChatGPT gave me when I asked it for keyword ideas for the topic, “Skincare Tips for Busy Moms.”

  • Busy mom skincare routine
  • Easy skincare for mothers
  • Efficient skincare tips for moms
  • Fast beauty routines for moms
  • Mom skincare essentials
  • Quick skincare solutions for moms
  • Simple skincare for busy moms
  • Skincare advice for busy parents
  • Skincare for moms on-the-go
  • Time-saving skincare for mothers

While none of these are actual keywords people use to search (I looked up the data in Semrush), we can use them to start our research.

I’ll use “mom skincare essentials” as a starting point. Within a few clicks of keyword research, I’ve discovered some good SEO keywords:

  • Skincare gifts for mom (90 monthly searches)
  • Beauty gifts for mom (70 monthly searches)

Overall, this is taking a bit longer to find high-quality keywords, as the ones above are better for listicles, where we want a general blog to help moms. I’ll skip ahead.

Here are better terms:

  • Simple skin care routine (1600 monthly searches)
  • Basic skincare routine (1600 monthly searches)
  • Face skin care routine (1600 monthly searches)

Next, you can use AI to create an SEO outline, discover all the top search results for these search terms, sort keywords by intent or cluster, and develop the actual content or outlines.

Once you’ve finished creating your content, you’ll create your unique point-of-view and expertise within the content, optimize on the page, add images, video, or other supporting media, and publish on your site.

Can You Use AI for Keyword Research?

Yes, you can! However, it’s best to use a tool developed specifically for AI SEO keyword research. Chat GPT has some really interesting SEO keyword research tools, like the “SEO Analyzer,” which generated the below list based on the target topic “mom skincare essentials.”

ai seo chat gpt output example keyword research

While it sorts the table by intent, you do need an SEO tool to tell you which articles people are actually looking for with consistency.

Clearscope, Semrush, and Ahrefs are great tools for looking up search volume for your target keywords list.

The Future is a Robot

While AI is prevalent in SEO, there are still a number of advancements that will need to happen as AI and search evolve.

Ahref’s Ryan Law argues that “AI content is extremely, scientifically, mediocre” and that “You can’t build a brand with AI content.” He makes a compelling case, one that I agree with strongly.

In other AI SEO news, Google is set to clarify its use of AI content, as reported by Barry Schwartz of Search Engine Round Table.

The rest of the world is skeptical of AI content, and it should be. The Wall Street Journal reports that top search results are often wrong, which should alarm anyone using the internet today.

That said, AI SEO will be rewarded or punished as much as Google says it should be, and I’m reluctantly along for the ride.

Create SEO content and content strategy for your brand with help from Socialhart. We help brands develop content strategies designed to go up and to the right in their analytics reports.

Contact us today to get started on an audit or evaluation.

Written by Crystal Ortiz

Crystal Ortiz is the Founder of Socialhart. She's a Marketing and SEO expert with 8 years of experience in digital marketing. She's worked with local businesses, founders, marketing executives, and global brands across many industries, both in-house and agency-side. She's taught digital marketing programs at several universities, including NC State and University of Wisconsin-Madison.

0 Comments

0 Comments

More from this category.

The Blog — Marketing Vault for Founders

How to Start Writing Blogs for SEO: A Beginner’s Guide

How to Start Writing Blogs for SEO: A Beginner’s Guide

How to Start Writing Blogs for SEO: A Beginner’s Guide  If you’ve ever wanted to write your own blog or generate website traffic with SEO, here’s what to consider to set yourself up for success.  While more challenging than a simple 1-2-3, writing blogs or articles...

read more
How to Write Great Hooks

How to Write Great Hooks

  I was a voracious reader as a kid (always with my nose in a book). When everyone else was paying attention in class (ya know, learning), I devoured books and novels like Wuthering Heights, Twilight, and A Great and Terrible Beauty. A great movie or book...

read more
8 Stages of Writing and Publishing Blog Content

8 Stages of Writing and Publishing Blog Content

What to Expect about Writing and Publishing Blog Content First comes love, and then comes… time to write.  It’s easy to fall in love with an idea or outline, but to get it across the finish line? Actually writing the article and hitting publish? Well, that’s harder. ...

read more

Socialhart helps founders drive revenue and grow market share with SEO. Content that connects, nurtures, and grows your revenue and business. Show up in search results. Reach your people. Grow revenue.